Worryingly, these apps have their code hidden under a package name ‘com.google.xxx’.
In a blog about the dangerous apps, Lukas Stefanko, a researcher at ESET, explained: “This trick – posing as a part of a legitimate Google service – may help avoid scrutiny. Some detection mechanisms and sandboxes may white list such package names, in an effort to prevent wasting resources.”
Thankfully, Google has now removed these apps from the Google Play Store, after ESET reported the issue.
Mr Stefanko added: “Sneaking unwanted or harmful functionality into popular, benign apps is a common practice among “bad” developers, and we are committed to tracking down such apps.
“We report them to Google and take other steps to disrupt malicious campaigns we discover.”
Here's the list of dangerous apps you shouldn't download:
Mini lite for Facebook
Freed Radio FM Online
Free Video Downloader
Free Social Video Downloader
Water Drink Reminder
Smart Notes for You
Ringtone Maker Pro
Basketball Perfect Shot
MP4 video downloader
Flat Music Player
Free Top Video Downloader